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Tap Dancer’s Birthday // Bunny Briggs
Bunny didn’t like to say goodbye. When it came time after our first meeting he said he’d walk me to the end of the hall and then turn around before I’d left the building. He didn’t like watching people leave.
That gives you a little picture into the sensitive character Bunny possessed.
The other side of the coin was the fierce competitiveness of a tap dancer who was exceptional technically, musically, and artistically. When I first really began listening to Bunny (yes, he’s recorded, too – Apple Music or Spotify), and watching footage, my eyes opened to the fullness of presentation available in the art of tap dance. The dancer and sometimes singer for the bands of Charlie Barnett and Duke Ellington, Bunny brought an embodiment of the music that rivaled his contemporaries.
His sensitive character pervaded his craft, however. When I co-founded the Tap Legacy™ Foundation, and asked Bunny to join the honorary board, he accepted with one condition. He asked that if Tap Legacy™ ever needed a chaplain, I would consider him. What a thoughtful request.
That never came to pass, but Bunny’s request still lingers, as does the impact he made on me as a person and dancer.
Do you like these kinds of stories? Visit Tap Legacy™ Resources for more tap dance history, especially this dedicated resource to Bunny’s story.